Cory standing in front of a brick wall, smiling, wearing glasses, short hair, khaki shirt

Cory Say

2007, B.F.A., Communication Design: Graphic Design
Concept-driven designer, art director, lettering artist and illustrator, Hallmark
Website: Cory Say
Instagram: Cory.Say
LinkedIn: Cory Say

Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I am Cory Say, husband to my beautiful wife Rachel and a father of two. Professionally, I am a senior designer, lettering artist, and illustrator at Hallmark. On the side, I take on freelance and teach various typography classes at Texas A&M-Commerce, Commerce, Texas. My career path started when I graduated from UNT in 2007 and immediately worked full-time at Fellowship Church. I worked there for two and a half years, then got a job at TracyLocke. While at TracyLocke, freelance started coming my way, and one of my clients was Hallmark. After freelancing with them for a year, they offered me a job, and Hallmark is where I am currently.

Typography examples by Cory Say

Book open to a page with elegant and fanciful typographyTell us about a defining moment in your professional career or a particular one that meaningfully altered your trajectory.

I would say that the most defining moment in my professional career started in college. One of the most impactful things ever happened to me was when Doyald Young [American type designer] came to UNT for a two-day lecture. The professors selected the top typography students at each level, and I was hoping I would be selected. They selected me, and it was a dream to study under the best in the biz. I loved that type of work and loved his “Fonts & Logos” book. I wanted to be him. I had no idea what that would look like until I started exploring lettering with personal side projects. I would post them on Behance and Dribbble and receive a lot of positive feedback, which led me to explore more. Through this exploration, I started receiving freelance work for lettering-based projects and logos, which led me to where I am currently, Hallmark.

Red, black and gold book covers with gold typeHas there been a point in your career where you took a scary risk?
Moving to Kansas City, Mo., to work for Hallmark was scary. I freelanced for them for a year, which was amazing, but specific cards were tailored to their needed skill. So, I wasn't sure if the day-to-day would be like my freelance experience. My wife was pregnant with our second, which was another factor. However, this has become my dream job. The risk paid off big time.

Various typography examples by Cory Say

Was there a moment, class, or professor that has had a lasting impact on your career?
Man, the last review before our final semester was a tough one. I was never late for a project and always got my work in on time, but this was the first time I hadn't printed all my work. I stayed up all night to get my work printed, which took forever. I thought this was it. I am going to fail and not graduate. However, all the professors showed me grace, and I knew this was not typical. They knew my work and told me how to prepare for the next class. It showed me the importance of grace and knowing when to give it.

Cans with bold and fanciful typography